Israeli Witnesses to Ataturk Airport Suicide-Bombing Attack: ‘People Were Running, Screaming, Fleeing Every Which Way’
At least 10 Israelis were at the airport in Turkey at the time of Tuesday’s terrorist attack, Israel’s Channel 2 reported, in the immediate aftermath of the triple suicide-bombing and shooting assault, which left at least 41 people dead and another 130 wounded, many critically.
According to the report, the Israelis were part of a group on the way home from an organized tour to Morocco, and Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was a stopover.
“The minute we arrived at the terminal, chaos erupted,” one of the members of the group told Channel 2. “We saw masses of people who had been standing in line for a security check running, screaming and fleeing every which way through the terminal to [seek refuge] in offices, bathroom, wherever they could. Everybody was falling down and there was a lot of crying.
“This is a very busy period in Istanbul, with tourists, businesspeople and, of course, locals marking the last week of Ramadan,” an Israeli correspondent stationed in the Turkish city told Channel 2. “Immediately after the attack, I saw streets closed off; people are in shock; everyone is panicked.”
An Israeli tour guide with a group he had led to Copenhagen described for Channel 2 landing for a stopover in Istanbul on the way to Israel, and being kept inside the plane for at least two hours before being allowed to disembark. “Other than feeling tired, we are all fine,” he said.
Though as of yet, no Israelis are known to be among the casualties of the attack, the Foreign Ministry has set up a situation room, operating in emergency mode, which anyone seeking information about loved ones can contact. The Jerusalem phone number to call is: 972-2-530-3155.
This was the second terrorist attack in Turkey on Tuesday, according to Reuters, making it the eighth in the past year. One police officer was killed and seven people were wounded in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir earlier on Tuesday, when a bomb exploded as an armored police vehicle was passing, security sources said.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the airport attack, though speculations that it was committed by ISIS are rampant.